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Friday, June 20, 2014

SocraticGadfly: It’s once again time to swat down the David Ortiz Hall of Fame claims

Big Arias: Rake progress.

Craig Calcaterra at NBC is the latest to get on my wrong side regarding David Ortiz and the HOF, with this, over Ortiz’s ######## about an official scorer’s ruling:

  Let’s ... focus of the pettiness of a guy with a Hall of Fame resume throwing a little temper tantrum over a scoring call that will matter not one iota in the course of this season let alone his career.

Is Ortiz already a member of the “Hall of Very Good”? Yes.

Hall of Fame? No. As I said in comments there:

  Right now, in my opinion, he’s borderline … or even borderline of borderline. Barely at 2K hits, yet to hit 1,500 RBIs, despite playing AL and almost all at DH. Never has broken 7 WAR in a season per B-Ref, and only once, 4 WAA.

So, nice, but not huge.

...He’s likely be at about 2,600 hits, 1,800 RBIs, 510 HRs on counting stats. On sabermetrics, we’ll give him 135 on career OPS+,  20 on career WAA and 51 on career WAR. That’s allowing for his games played to decline a bit each year.

The WAA is still low in my book, but 1B/DH is a tough competition slot. On JAWS, he’d jump four places, to No. 29.

So, four years from now, at his position, he’s not a slam dunk.

And, per yet another commenter on Craig’s link, he may be pissed, and scrapping for base hits by scorer’s change of mind, because he’s not even close to what I noted:

  He’s hitting .190/.301/.413 in the month of June and .163/.290/.327 over the last thirty days. Ugly numbers.

Not too good.

Counting stats aren’t everything, but, if he finishes below 2,500 hits and below 500 HRs, I don’t see him getting in.

Repoz Posted: June 20, 2014 at 10:23 AM | 54 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
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   1. Smiling Joe Hesketh Posted: June 20, 2014 at 10:53 AM (#4731399)
He is down this year from last, no doubt about it, which undoubtedly led to his frustrated response to the error the other day. He's down 140 points in OPS. But even that is good enough for a 126 OPS+. I hope this isn't the end for him, and we've seen him come back from worse seasons than this, but of course he was younger then. His BaBIP is .240 this season, by far the lowest of his career. Whether that's a sign of increasing inability to hit or merely an extended run of bad luck remains to be seen.

We've rehashed the Ortiz for HoF arguments endlessly already. I'm going to enjoy his career as long as I can and think about all his big moments in Boston, and worry about the HoF question years from now.
   2. CFBF Is A Golden Spider Duck Posted: June 20, 2014 at 11:30 AM (#4731445)
If you call yourself "Socratic Gadfly," I hate you.
   3. Canker Soriano Posted: June 20, 2014 at 11:58 AM (#4731467)
He'll get in, and the rending of garments over it will be comparable to the Jeter Gold Gloves.

Just accept it and let it wash over you, like a drowning victim becoming sleepy. It will all be over soon.
   4. BDC Posted: June 20, 2014 at 12:06 PM (#4731473)
Seems more like swatting Ortiz when he's down, if you ask me. But he's got 16 home runs in less than a half-season and his HR% is around his career mark, so he's still ticking off the milestones. (He's five career HR away from Yaz; that'll get some notice.) And as Hesketh notes, he's a pretty good DH even in an off-season.
   5. Yeaarrgghhhh Posted: June 20, 2014 at 12:20 PM (#4731490)
He's absolutely a borderline candidate statistically, but throw in his postseason stats, helping the Red Sox break the curse and win the WS, blah, blah, blah, he's an easy choice.
   6. theboyqueen Posted: June 20, 2014 at 12:21 PM (#4731491)
Does Ortiz really have a chance at the Hall of Fame? Isn't Frank Thomas the only DH in the Hall? Ortiz is not even close to Thomas or Edgar, is he? He would seem to be more in the Harold Baines category, with a much shorter career. Sorry if I missed some previous debate about this.
   7. You Know Nothing JT Snow (YR) Posted: June 20, 2014 at 12:26 PM (#4731494)
Steroids.
   8. Joey B. has reignited his October #Natitude Posted: June 20, 2014 at 12:36 PM (#4731506)
This. ^
   9. Loren F. Posted: June 20, 2014 at 12:38 PM (#4731510)
What #2 said.

Also, I predict Ortiz will make it into the Hall of Fame, but not make it into the Hall of Merit. Narrative, triple crown stats, etc. He'll finish with 450+ HR and 1500+ RBI, and a batting average above .280, and peak years that are good but people will embellish in their memory (akin to recalling Jim Rice as the most feared hitter of his generation). If he ends up short of 500 HR, it'll just take him longer to make it in. I wouldn't vote for him for either Hall, but I'm just a powerless Internet poster.
   10. RJ in TO Posted: June 20, 2014 at 12:41 PM (#4731512)
Does Ortiz really have a chance at the Hall of Fame?


Fan-friendly, 447 homers, 1472 RBI, three World Series rings, including as a member of the 2004 Red Sox, a great hitting line in the playoffs, and a reputation as clutch. He absolutely has a chance at the Hall of Fame.
   11. Shibal Posted: June 20, 2014 at 12:47 PM (#4731525)
What #7 said.

And #8 repeated.

The guy is roided up. Dudes who do that have a tendency to fly off the handle at times.


   12. Yeaarrgghhhh Posted: June 20, 2014 at 12:55 PM (#4731541)
I have no doubt that he used or is using, but for some reason he's mostly avoided the steroid police. Part of the reason I think the relentless criticism of Bonds is so stupid.
   13. Steve Balboni's Personal Trainer Posted: June 20, 2014 at 12:56 PM (#4731546)
His BaBIP is .240 this season, by far the lowest of his career. Whether that's a sign of increasing inability to hit or merely an extended run of bad luck remains to be seen.


Opponents are using the extreme pull shift more than ever, and as somebody who watches most Red Sox games, it seems like he is hitting hard shots into the shift more than ever. Some of this is bad luck, probably, but some of it is the point of moving defenses into shifts - if you put a guy in short right field, and a couple of times a week he hits a line drive right to the guy, that's enough to dent his numbers. It doesn't impact the HRs, but it certainly impacts everything else.

Also, for the umpteenth time, people who are looking purely at Ortiz's stats to figure out his HOF case are missing a significant part of the point. Fair or not, Ortiz has immense "extras" working in his favor, more than virtually any player of his generation. Three rings, and massive moments during those playoff runs. Beloved by many players in the game (not David Price, though!). Big personality, big smile. Playing virtually his whole career with one of the highest-profile franchises, who hadn't won anything in 86 years before he (and others) get there. Also, we don't know how the Ortiz statistical story ends - if he gets to 500 HRs, for example, the case gets better, or if the team wins another ring while he is there, or whatever. If he collapses this year, then the story is weaker, obviously. But the "extras" are huge for Ortiz, and make his case very interesting for the voters.
   14. Jose Is The Most Absurd Thing on the Site Posted: June 20, 2014 at 01:02 PM (#4731554)
Opponents are using the extreme pull shift more than ever, and as somebody who watches most Red Sox games, it seems like he is hitting hard shots into the shift more than ever. Some of this is bad luck, probably, but some of it is the point of moving defenses into shifts - if you put a guy in short right field, and a couple of times a week he hits a line drive right to the guy, that's enough to dent his numbers. It doesn't impact the HRs, but it certainly impacts everything else.


I feel like Ortiz has been regularly shifted on for many years now. I could be wrong but it seems like every slump the guy has had for the last half decade has included a discussion of "more frequent shifts" and I'm not sold that's a reason. At least not directly.

Like most hitters when Ortiz is trying to use the whole field he is better off. When he's pulling everything he's hitting into the shift more but I think the problem is the pulling of everything rather than the shift itself if that makes any sense.
   15. cardsfanboy Posted: June 20, 2014 at 01:20 PM (#4731575)
I think that this writer over reacted to a throw away comment. Ortiz does have a fairly decent resume.

He's absolutely a borderline candidate statistically, but throw in his postseason stats, helping the Red Sox break the curse and win the WS, blah, blah, blah, he's an easy choice.


This is the difference between Red Sox fans and normal sane knowledgeable fans. Ortiz is at least two or three degrees from being borderline. Edgar and Larry Walker are borderline, he's not close to their level. His post season numbers move him one degree closer, but it still doesn't put him over the line that he is pretty far off from. He's Jack Clark with more post season.
   16. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: June 20, 2014 at 01:22 PM (#4731579)
Does Ortiz really have a chance at the Hall of Fame?


He'll get in, and the rending of garments over it will be comparable to the Jeter Gold Gloves.

This. He's a lock.
   17. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: June 20, 2014 at 01:24 PM (#4731582)
He's absolutely a borderline candidate statistically, but throw in his postseason stats, helping the Red Sox break the curse and win the WS, blah, blah, blah, he's an easy choice.


This is the difference between Red Sox fans and normal sane knowledgeable fans.

No, this is the difference between people who understand the difference between the Hall of Fame and the Hall of Merit and people who don't. It's not our fault that this distinction is lost upon some people.
   18. You Know Nothing JT Snow (YR) Posted: June 20, 2014 at 01:29 PM (#4731589)
I have no doubt that he used or is using, but for some reason he's mostly avoided the steroid police.


Well a paid member of his team's board was the Chief of Steroid Police. You'll notice Manny couldn't piss clean to save his life once he left that same team.
   19. SoSHially Unacceptable Posted: June 20, 2014 at 01:30 PM (#4731593)
This is the difference between Red Sox fans and normal sane knowledgeable fans. Ortiz is at least two or three degrees from being borderline. Edgar and Larry Walker are borderline, he's not close to their level. His post season numbers move him one degree closer, but it still doesn't put him over the line that he is pretty far off from. He's Jack Clark with more post season.


Actually this is the apparently the difference between normal sane knowledgable fans and Orioles fans, which is what the author of that comment you cited is.

Most of the guys on this site who are most strongly in favor of Ortiz as a hall of Famer are not Red Sox fans. It sucks when facts get in the way of the neat little narrative you've constructed, but what are you going to do?

   20. JRVJ Posted: June 20, 2014 at 01:38 PM (#4731607)
Ortiz had a very good May, and has had a weakish June.

I suspect that he'll get hot soon.
   21. alilisd Posted: June 20, 2014 at 01:44 PM (#4731616)
It will all be over soon? No, no it will not. He's not even retired. There will still be five years after that before he hits the ballot. Then will come the sorting out between those who don't support a DH who doesn't have Frank Thomas like numbers and those who love the Sox and WS narrative. And who knows what the ballot landscape will look like?
   22. Smiling Joe Hesketh Posted: June 20, 2014 at 01:55 PM (#4731639)
He'll always be in the Hall of Fame....of my heart!

As others have cited above, Ortiz has one of the most interesting "and all the extras" HoF cases in recent memory, with the 3 rings and breaking the Curse and clutch moments too numerous to count. Not to mention being pretty much the centerpiece of the team personality-wise for more than a decade now. "This is our f**king city!", etc.
   23. Karl from NY Posted: June 20, 2014 at 02:10 PM (#4731654)
Ortiz is going in. The writers vote for their Stories, and he's as big a Story as they come. He won't hit it first ballot, but he'll debut around 30% and rise inexorably from there.
   24. Srul Itza Posted: June 20, 2014 at 02:28 PM (#4731667)
Ortiz is going in. The writers vote for their Stories, and he's as big a Story as they come. He won't hit it first ballot, but he'll debut around 30% and rise inexorably from there.


I mostly agree. I think his starting percentage will depend on how he finishes out his career. If he hits the 500 HR milestone, or has another amazing post season, I could see something closer to a 45-50% first year vote.

   25. Dog on the sidewalk Posted: June 20, 2014 at 02:59 PM (#4731684)
The voters love their Stories, but they hate Steroids. Players with nothing more than rumors attached to their name have lost lots of support because a large chunk of voters don't want to vote for someone who seems like someone who might later be exposed as a PED user. Why do so many of you think that Ortiz, who was revealed to have a failed a test in 2003, will be immune to this approach? The voters aren't going to care that the list he was on was supposed to remain private, or that nothing else has come out since. They're not voting for him, unless the landscape seriously changes.
   26. rufus was here Posted: June 20, 2014 at 03:08 PM (#4731689)
I do think it's amazing to compare Ortiz' numbers to Edgar's. Wow, what a difference. And Edgar's probably not getting in, despite this amazing moment that broke the hearts of Yankee (and Mattingly) fans forever.
   27. Karl from NY Posted: June 20, 2014 at 03:11 PM (#4731693)
or has another amazing post season

This already happened. Any more postseasons beyond 2013 won't make any difference in his narrative 6 to 10 years from now. He's already a planet-eating monster.
   28. Don Malcolm Posted: June 20, 2014 at 03:16 PM (#4731698)
Anyone who uses "Gadfly" as his monicker (as opposed to merely being one...) should NEVER use the verb "swat"....
   29. tfbg9 Posted: June 20, 2014 at 03:48 PM (#4731759)
http://www.cantstopthebleeding.com/no-smearing-in-the-press-box-iii-big-papi-vindicates-cstb-blowhard-michael-s-schmidt-commences-damage-control

Ortiz was smeared.
   30. Gonfalon Bubble Posted: June 20, 2014 at 04:01 PM (#4731785)
If the HoF voters are going to punish Ortiz (or Pettitte) for steroid use, their future fury must be a kind of underwater depth charge, silently waiting to explode in 2020 or 2023. The writers aren't so reticent about sharing their hurty feelings when it comes to other players.
   31. RMc is a fine piece of cheese Posted: June 20, 2014 at 04:55 PM (#4731864)
Players with nothing more than rumors attached to their name have lost lots of support because a large chunk of voters don't want to vote for someone who seems like someone who might later be exposed as a PED user.


This. If people like Bagwell and Piazza are getting shafted simply for looking like steroid guys, what do you think they'll do to Ortiz?
   32. Jose Is The Most Absurd Thing on the Site Posted: June 20, 2014 at 05:01 PM (#4731873)

This. If people like Bagwell and Piazza are getting shafted simply for looking like steroid guys, what do you think they'll do to Ortiz?


For whatever reason Ortiz gets treated a lot more like Pettitte than Bonds when it comes to the PED issue. I'm not sure why it is but generally trying to find consistency in the coverage of PEDs is a fool's errand so I don't worry about it.
   33. AuntBea Posted: June 20, 2014 at 05:54 PM (#4731919)
What does Ortiz have against official scorers?
   34. Walt Davis Posted: June 20, 2014 at 06:22 PM (#4731927)
A few bits ...

WAR rates Ortiz as a smidgen below-average so far this year. For a full-time DH, somewhere around a 125 OPS+ is about the minimum that teams seem willing to accept (on a repeated basis). Doesn't mean he won't bounce back.

Ortiz's BABIP is down a ton and it's horrible on GB (140 vs. 200 career). But he still doesn't hit many GB and his production is down in almost every split you look at. The main issue is that he's not hitting doubles.

For example, going the opp. way, he's at 308/346 this year compared to 353/547 career and numbers closer to 400/680 the last few years. Of course he doesn't hit a lot the other way but last year he did it 60 times and had 9 doubles and 2 HR. This year he's done it 26 times (about the same rate) but has just one double and no HR.

Up the middle career he's hit 335/611 and that's been more like 380/680 the last few years. This year he's at 299/504. Last year he had 64 XB in 227 PA and this year it's just 24 in 118. Meanwhile his power is actually well up on pulled balls but the BA is still way down.

So the issues are BA (but it is everywhere -- he's 60 points down on GB but also 50 points down on FB and 100 points down on LD; he's down on pulled balls, middle balls, opp balls) and opp/middle power. Context aside, a lot of his components are similar to 2009 when he had similar overall rate stats with some similarity to 2008 and even occasionally 2012-13.

Still nothing that a half dozen doubles off the Monster won't cure.
   35. Yeaarrgghhhh Posted: June 20, 2014 at 06:53 PM (#4731941)
This is the difference between Red Sox fans and normal sane knowledgeable fans. Ortiz is at least two or three degrees from being borderline. Edgar and Larry Walker are borderline, he's not close to their level. His post season numbers move him one degree closer, but it still doesn't put him over the line that he is pretty far off from. He's Jack Clark with more post season.

As noted, I'm an orioles fan. I'm not sure if I'd vote for him, but I have no doubt the writers will, and he'd be far from the worst guy in the hall. A far better choice than, say, Jim Rice.
   36. Booey Posted: June 20, 2014 at 07:01 PM (#4731943)
What are the excuses the writers are going to use to justify voting for Papi but not for other clearly superior PED tainted players? And for those that think he's a near lock, what makes you so sure the BBWAA will be willing to overlook the roids just this one time?

I actually hope he does get elected. It might help open the door a crack for Bonds, Clemens, and the rest*

* whoever 'the rest' are by the time Ortiz becomes eligible. Palmeiro is already gone, and McGwire, Sosa, Sheffield, and Manny likely will be off the ballot before we ever see Papi's name on it.
   37. alilisd Posted: June 20, 2014 at 07:07 PM (#4731948)
31: Meh. I'm not seeing Bagwell and Piazza getting shafted. I'm seeing them doing quite well on unprecedentely crowded ballots. Of course YMMV.
   38. Dog on the sidewalk Posted: June 20, 2014 at 07:21 PM (#4731955)
They're getting votes and I expect both to make it in sooner rather than later, but there are plenty of people who said they won't vote for them because they had bacne or were too muscly or simply because they were elite power hitters at the wrong time.

Ortiz has a positive test attached to his name. I can't imagine 75% of voters are willing to overlook that just because he smiles a lot and was nice to reporters, especially when you consider that his numbers are MOR by Hall standards.
   39. Yardape Posted: June 20, 2014 at 07:32 PM (#4731960)
What makes Ortiz, a borderline candidate with great postseason moments (plus a steroid whiff) different from Schilling, a somewhat better-than-borderline case with great postseason moments?
   40. JJ1986 Posted: June 20, 2014 at 07:39 PM (#4731966)
It seems really unfair to give Ortiz credit for his (admittedly great) postseasons and not to extend the same courtesy to Berkman and Beltran. Postseason credit is one thing; Red Sox credit is another.
   41. BDC Posted: June 20, 2014 at 07:45 PM (#4731969)
What makes Ortiz, a borderline candidate with great postseason moments (plus a steroid whiff) different from Schilling, a somewhat better-than-borderline case with great postseason moments?

Nothing or less, in my book; I'm already "voting" for Schilling on mock ballots. His 29% support on a first BBWAA ballot last year surprised me a little, but I reckon the voters aren't inclined to make era adjustments for pitchers, just as they didn't for Stieb, Saberhagen, et al. Guy's got just 216 wins, how good was he really, that sort of thing.

It seems really unfair to give Ortiz credit for his (admittedly great) postseasons and not to extend the same courtesy to Berkman and Beltran

To paraphrase the Wizard of Oz, Ortiz has one thing that they don't have: a matching set of three rings :)
   42. Howie Menckel Posted: June 20, 2014 at 08:14 PM (#4731983)

"I predict Ortiz will make it into the Hall of Fame, but not make it into the Hall of Merit."

possibly, and if so that may make sense. The article seemed a little like an anti-HOM argument, which is a different thing entirely. Ortiz has been a really good player on a really good team and had some really big moments for some teams that won some dramatic championships. That tends to be what makes a player a tempting Hall of FAME pick....

   43. Yardape Posted: June 20, 2014 at 08:36 PM (#4731991)
His 29% support on a first BBWAA ballot last year surprised me a little,


Right, I agree that Schilling *should* be in. I'm just curious how anyone can be so certain that Ortiz is going in when Schilling debuted so low, with a better resume.
   44. cardsfanboy Posted: June 20, 2014 at 08:51 PM (#4732001)
They're getting votes and I expect both to make it in sooner rather than later, but there are plenty of people who said they won't vote for them because they had bacne or were too muscly or simply because they were elite power hitters at the wrong time.


Which is actually a help for guys like Pettite and Ortiz. "the acceptable ped users for the bbwaa". Once Piazza or Bagwell go in, some of the hardliners will say I'm not going to fight it as much(while still finding some convoluted logic to not voter for Bonds/Clemens.)

It seems really unfair to give Ortiz credit for his (admittedly great) postseasons and not to extend the same courtesy to Berkman and Beltran. Postseason credit is one thing; Red Sox credit is another.


Nothing unfair for any set of circumstances that allow for a Red Sox/Yankee player to be given props beyond rationality.

Right, I agree that Schilling *should* be in. I'm just curious how anyone can be so certain that Ortiz is going in when Schilling debuted so low, with a better resume.


Is there anyone certain of anything on here? I think people on both sides of the debate are espousing their opinions on what is going to happen, and it's colored pretty heavily by their preferences in the situation or closeness to the situation. (I fully imagine AL East people are going to have a stronger thought on Ortiz hof worthiness, than an NL west fan)

   45. MuttsIdolCochrane Posted: June 21, 2014 at 07:16 AM (#4732124)
Steroids, steroids, steroids did more for Ortiz's career than any player in history, certainly including Bonds, Clemens and even Mcgwire. I know we've had many bad decisions and injustices in the HOF history, but that guy, with his steroids and his me first regularly repeated whiny history, in the hall with true historic superstars and all time greats like Bonds, Clemens, Piazza (and Bagwell, Edgar and more) out would be just another travesty to add to the mess. Even Palmeiro who will never get in is so much more deserving.
   46. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: June 21, 2014 at 07:36 AM (#4732126)
His 29% support on a first BBWAA ballot last year surprised me a little,


Right, I agree that Schilling *should* be in. I'm just curious how anyone can be so certain that Ortiz is going in when Schilling debuted so low, with a better resume.

A few possible explanations.

Since 2003 Ortiz has been more consistent than Schilling ever was, with that one blip a few years ago the only gap.

Schilling's 216 wins is below the usual HoF standard for starting pitchers. He has three 20 game seasons, but also had plenty of years where he won fewer than 10 games. He's definitely more of a peak-only candidate than Ortiz.

And then there's the ballot crowding. That may also work against Ortiz, depending on when he retires, but eventually I think they'll both get in via the BBWAA.
   47. Mirabelli Dictu (Chris McClinch) Posted: June 21, 2014 at 07:56 AM (#4732128)
I'm a Red Sox fan, and my feeling is that he'll likely be elected to the Hall based on narrative. Purely by the numbers, he's a below average Hall of Famer, but certainly not a Jim Rice level mistake (seriously, they elected the guy with the WORST Hall of Fame resume from that late '70s Red Sox outfield). If he weren't synonymous with the most successful decade of Red Sox baseball in living memory, if he didn't have the postseason heroics, if not for "This is our f*cking city," he probably wouldn't be going in. But these things happened, and they matter for the Hall of Fame, if not the Hall of Merit.

I'll tell you this: THAT's a speech I'm looking forward to.
   48. MuttsIdolCochrane Posted: June 21, 2014 at 07:59 AM (#4732129)
STEROIDS, and still below average numbers. Undeserving. Reality please folks, not fandom.
   49. Barnaby Jones Posted: June 21, 2014 at 08:03 AM (#4732130)
If you call yourself "Socratic Gadfly," I hate you.


Yes, thank you. Every time this blog gets posted I have to restrain myself from punching my computer screen.
   50. Jose Is The Most Absurd Thing on the Site Posted: June 21, 2014 at 11:00 AM (#4732167)
Does MuttsIdolCochrane think Ortiz used steroids? He needs to be more clear.
   51. MuttsIdolCochrane Posted: June 21, 2014 at 11:42 AM (#4732182)
MuttsIdolCochrane "thinks" Lincoln's dead.
   52. alilisd Posted: June 21, 2014 at 12:35 PM (#4732199)
Has anyone other than Chass said anything about Piazza and backne?
   53. greenback calls it soccer Posted: June 21, 2014 at 12:53 PM (#4732209)
Yes, thank you. Every time this blog gets posted I have to restrain myself from punching my computer screen.

At least the guy behind the blog doesn't post much here any more.
   54. You Know Nothing JT Snow (YR) Posted: June 21, 2014 at 01:13 PM (#4732218)
MuttsIdolCochrane "thinks" Lincoln's dead.


Wrong!

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